U.K. Launches Program to Raise Awareness of Invisible Illnesses

Signs are appearing outside restrooms in the United Kingdom to advise members of the public that not all disabilities are visible.

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According to a report from the BBC, the signs are being posted to help those who have invisible illnesses and to help change public perception. The signs use the word “accessible” instead of “disabled,” and have been adopted by some supermarkets and other businesses. In fact, this week the Premier League soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) became the first club to put the signs outside their public restrooms.

The move has been welcomed by many who suffer from chronic illnesses but do not require a wheelchair or have any obvious signs of their health struggles. It helps to break down barriers and address stereotypes, as well as remind people not to make assumptions about the health of others based solely on appearances.

It looks like these signs will become the norm for public restrooms in the U.K. and hopefully other countries follow suit.

MORE: Read our columnist Robin Dix’s take on having a pet when you have fibromyalgia. 

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3 comments

  1. Denise Bault says:

    That’s wonderful! Why don’t we start a petition for it to be that way in the good ‘ole USA? I swear, people just don’t get invisible illnesses unless they have one too. We need to start educating folks about this issue. It affects millions of people!

  2. Gail Wilson Webb says:

    Yay for the Brits! I use the “handicap” stall when it is available and people do look askance when I do. I use it because a regular size stall gives me claustrophobia as well as needing extra space to maneuver because of my fibro. It would be very nice to not be seen as a selfish person using resources meant for the less fortunate.

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